State Water Board Adopts Policy for the Safe & Affordable Drinking Water Fund by Caroline Minasian May 6, 2020 Water News On May 5, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted the “Policy for Developing the Fund Expenditure Plan for the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.” This policy serves as the overall guidance for how the Board will identify water systems and administer funding over the next decade to support communities that do not have safe drinking water. In February, ACWA and the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA) submitted joint comments on the draft policy with recommendations to prioritize funding to help solve as many known safe drinking water issues as possible, recognize that each system will have different needs, and focus on moving water systems towards long-term sustainable operations. The State Water Board is also in the process of developing the “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund Expenditure Plan,” which is an annual plan that will define financing and programmatic requirements for each fiscal year. The fund expenditure plan is expected to be released May 26 and adopted on July 7. ACWA will continue to engage with this process and actively provides public comments at the State Water Board’s Advisory Group meetings. In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 200 (Monning), a long-term funding solution aimed to bring safe and affordable drinking water to disadvantaged communities. The State Water Board is authorized to spend $130 million each year until 2030 using revenue from California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and the General Fund. More information is available on the State Water Board’s website.